Forgive me that on such an important day in the sporting calendar, with the Champions League final between Tottenham and Liverpool being staged in Madrid, if I employ this column for an almost personal message. As was announced around a month ago, as of today AS will welcome a new editor. You will be left in the best of hands, those of Vicente Jiménez, who comes into the role youthful but with an extraordinary career already adorning his CV. Starting out as a sports journalist at El Periódico and El País, where he spent many years, going on to become USA correspondent for the latter and subsequently deputy editor-in-chief before moving to radio network Cadena SER, where he held the post of managing director.
For my part, I would like to thank this newspaper for agreeing to my request to step aside and for their generosity in asking me to continue to submit this column, which as of Sunday will appear on the back page to mark the beginning of a new era. It will contain purely my own opinion and should not be regarded in any way as the editorial line of AS, which naturally from here will be Vicente’s responsibility. I would like to thank those who have worked alongside me making this newspaper an institution during the more than 23 years that I have been its editor. I owe you all an infinite debt of gratitude, as I do to the boyish enthusiasm that has accompanied me on this journey, for your friendship and professional integrity.
An era of Spanish sporting success
I have been fortunate. These have been wonderful years to work in an environment such as this. Shortly after my arrival, Real Madrid won the European Cup after a 32-year hiatus, and in a sense they are still the European champions today, my final day at this newspaper. It proved a foretaste of an explosion of pride in Spanish sport, with Rafa Nadal, Pau Gasol, Fernando Alonso and La Roja at the forefront of an enormous number of successes in both men’s and women’s sport across a vast spectrum of disciplines. I am thankful to them, and to those who made it possible. They in turn have provided us with the material to create this publication and to share those moments of collective joy with you. And my apologies to Liverpool and Tottenham for only dedicating three lines to note that today in Madrid we have a spectacular final awaiting us.